Greg Canessa, a vice president at publisher Activision, believes that the handheld market, which is currently represented by the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation Vita, is under serious threat from the ever expanding world of mobile and tablet devices.The executive tells iGamer that, “There’s no doubt that the space faces challenges. Are more directly competitive with what’s going on in the tablet and mobile space and there’s a lot more overlap there, to be honest.”
He adds, “From a gameplay immersiveness standpoint, from price point and business model standpoint, I mean it’s $40 for some of those games and you can get great experiences – not necessarily comparable experience, but great nonetheless – for seven dollars on a tablet.”
Despite the problems that the 3DS from Nintendo and the PlayStation Vita from Sony are facing, Canessa says that Activision has solid relationships with both companies and will continue creating titles for the handhelds.
It’s not clear whether Activision is also working to create more high profile titles for iOS and Android devices or if the publisher is only interested in the premium handheld market.
Activision is one of the biggest publishers in the gaming industry, but the company has traditionally been unwilling to work with mobile game developers.
Both the 3DS and the Vita have sold less than their creators expected and Nintendo was forced to cut the price of its own handheld significantly in order to make it more appealing.
Sony has so far refused to make a similar move for its own device and the official company line is that solid games and more new content will be enough to drive up sales in the coming months.
The mobile market is challenging for traditional video game companies because it focuses on low prices and on a high volume of sales driven by price cuts and by innovative gameplay features.